Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Deeds of variation and stamp duty

As I flagged in my last blog posting, we had a very difficult day recently – all triggered by a simple typo in the schedule to a trust deed.

One aspect that proved unnecessarily difficult due to the particular approach of the relevant bank officer was in relation to stamping.

Most Australian states (and particularly Queensland where this transaction was taking place) do not require administrative type changes to trusts to be charged with stamp duty.

In fact, in Queensland, recent changes have been made by the Stamps Office to actively discourage people from lodging these types of documents for assessment, given that the assessment is going to be returned as no duty payable.

Essentially then the only types of trust variations that need to be lodged for assessment in Queensland are ones that historically have been loosely described as 'resettlements'.

Practically, there is in fact no definition of a resettlement under the stamp duty rules and instead there is a series of other, relatively technical, provisions that need to be considered. For those interested in the general way in which these rules operate, please let me know and I can direct you to the relevant parts of the Stamps Office website.

Until next week.

Matthew Burgess